By Sihle Jack
In a weeks time, Grahamstown will be abuzz with old faces previously tied to Victoria Girls’ High School and Graeme College. The weekend will grace the City of Saints with some old girls and boys who more than reconnecting with former classmates will want to see how the city, which they owned while in Grahamstown, has changed since their departure.
The annual Founders Weekend, where the schools celebrate their history and their futures, will be held on 13th and 14th March. Founders Weekend is reunion weekend to some; a good time for former classmates to reconnect and see how the school has transformed. However, it is also a time in which current scholars can get motivation from older past students who have been through the same doors.
In the past, the weekend has always been planned so that the schools, which started off as one co-ed school, share one of the weekends in March as their Founders Weekend. That is still the tradition. The noticeable difference is, however, the reservation of Sunday 15 March for a church service at Graeme College.
Nadia Czeredrecki-Schmidt, a teacher and the publicity head of the school had this to say about old student unions, “They allow old girls to reminisce about the old days and reconnect with people from their past. [It] also builds school unity preparing for Founder’s.”
While Founder’s Weekends are fun, what benefits do they shower the schools with? “I don’t know much about what the old girls do for the school financially, but I know that they give us a motivational speech and that is about as far as I think the benefits go with the old girls,” said Lutho Matyholweni a grade 10 scholar at VG.
Old girls pay considerable amounts of money when attending these reunions but how many of them actually help the schools for further developments?
Sibonisiwe Hlawula, a third year student at Rhodes University and Queenstown Girls’ High School old girl is of the opinion that schools benefit from such unions. “Old girls’ associations host fundraisers and help with the school’s publicity. You get old girls who have made it in life and they are the ones who reach into their own pockets and donate to the school. To add to that, they might also persuade people to send their daughters to those schools because they know what the schools are like – which is good for the schools”
Stay tuned to Ukufunda, as next week we go into what happens at the VG and GC Founders Weekends and talk to some old girls and boys about what they do for the school in this union.